Oct 28, 2010

Tomato-Basil Salsa & Fresh Berry Daiquiris

I wish I could tell you that these super summery treats were meant to be posted in chilly October. That it was my purposeful plan to exclusively accommodate the parched Floridians and West Coasters, or those lucky enough to be enjoying the warm breezes of an Indian summer.

But no. I’m simply a slacker. A procrastinator. An overworked advertising writer who finds her weekends filled with the same things that fill her weekdays. Work. Not to mention the apple orchards and the out of town guests and the trips around the country that far beat the eye twitch inducing staring competition with a blank Word doc.

But amidst the pumpkins and the parties, I have good news... I finished my cooking project! I successfully cooked through a year of Cooking light recipes. But like most good news, mine is inevitably followed by bad news: I won’t allow myself to celebrate until I’ve posted all of my hard work on this here blog, because somewhere along the way, documenting the project became just as important as the actual project itself. 

So while my crammed calendar has been robbing me of the time my perfectionist nature needs to meticulously pick photos and write entries, fear not! I’ll soon be caught up and the champagne will surely flow.

In the meantime, clap silently for my secret victory and take a break from your pumpkin-spice confections to enjoy a fresh, fruity drink and a summer salsa I made back in….err…July.

This salsa recipe creates a super easy, six-ingredient, 11-measly-calorie dip that’s far…FAR… better than the bottled stuff. It was my first attempt at peeling a tomato (you can peel tomatoes!) and let me tell you – a vegetable peeler is not the way to go, my friends. Instead, this method is great for sanity-saving peeling and this trick gets every last seed out in seconds.

Once you’ve made it past that step, a few chops, a splash of red wine vinegar and a dash of S&P are all you need to put garden-fresh salsa on your table.  And if you're going to eat salsa in October, you might as well have a frosty cocktail to wash it down, right?

These daiquiris take a little more patience than the salsa, but I promise they’re worth it. If you’ve ever found yourself craving the icy, fruity sweetness of a seaside cabana daiquiri in the comfort of your own home, but hate the corn syrup-filled and artificially flavored crap that lines the grocery store shelves, you’ll love these fresh treats.

First, make simple syrup (boiled and cooled sugar water). Then, puree your berries of choice (raspberries, blueberries or strawberries), sieve them to remove skins and seeds and blend them with ice, lime juice and rum.

Then drag your lawn chair out of storage, pretend this frigid fall weather is really a summer heat wave and enjoy your fresh salsa and chilled tropical drink. Mind over matter, right? Think warm…feel warm. And then say a prayer that I can post a few dozen more recipes before the snow falls so you’re not enjoying frozen treats in the presence of icicles.

Tomato-Basil Salsa
Yield: 2 cups (serving size: 1/4 cup)
Cooking Light, JULY 1998

Note: Aside from tortilla chips, this salsa is also great served with grilled vegetables, beef, or poultry. Or try it as a condiment on a grilled-chicken sandwich or toasted bagel with cheese.

2  cups  chopped seeded peeled tomato
1/4  cup  chopped fresh basil
2  tablespoons  chopped red onion
2  tablespoons  red wine vinegar
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/8  teaspoon  black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 11 (16% from fat), Fat:0.2g (sat 0.0g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.1g), Protein: 0.5g, Carbohydrate: 2.5g, Fiber: 0.6g, Cholesterol: 0.0mg, Iron: 0.2mg, Sodium: 77mg, Calcium: 5mg.


Fresh Strawberry Daiquiris 
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)
David Bonom, Cooking Light, JUNE 2008

1  cup  halved strawberries
1/2  cup Simple Syrup (recipe to follow)
1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
3  cups  crushed ice
1/2  cup  rum (Captain Morgan spiced rum is perfect.)
3  tablespoons  fresh lime juice

Combine first 3 ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth.
Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl, and discard solids.
Combine strawberry mixture, 3 cups crushed ice, rum, and lime juice in blender, and process until smooth.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 107 (1% from fat), Fat: 0.1g (sat 0.0g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.0g), Protein: 0.2g, Carbohydrate: 16.7g, Fiber: 0.6g, Cholesterol: 0.0mg, Iron: 0.1mg, Sodium: 1mg, Calcium: 6mg.

Blueberry Daiquiri Variation
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup).
Substitute 1 cup blueberries and increase simple syrup to 3/4 cup.
Nutritional Info: Calories: 140 (1% From Fat), Fat: 0.1g (Sat 0g, Mono 0g, Poly 0g), Protein: 0.2g, Carbs: 25.3g, Fiber: 0.6g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Iron: 0.1mg, Sodium: 1mg, Calcium: 4mg.

Raspberry Daiquiri Variation
Yield: 6 Servings (Serving Size: 2/3 Cup).
Substitute 1 (6-Ounce) box raspberries and increase simple syrup To 3/4 Cup.
Nutritional Into: Calories: 141 (1% From Fat), Fat: 0.2g (Sat 0g, Mono 0g, Poly 0.1g); Protein: 0.4g, Carbs: 25.1g, Fiber: 0.6g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Iron: 0.2mg, Sodium: 1mg, Calcium: 9mg.

Simple Syrup
Yield: 1 1/2 cups (serving size: 3 tablespoons)
David Bonom, Cooking Light, JUNE 2008

Note: This Simple Syrup recipe makes enough for three batches of strawberry daiquiris or two batches of the blueberry or raspberry variation. The syrup is also handy for sweetening iced tea.

1 1/4  cups  sugar
1  cup  water

Combine sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 1/2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate until chilled.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 121 (0.0% from fat), Fat: 0.0g (sat 0.0g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.0g), Protein: 0.0g, Carbohydrate: 31.3g, Fiber: 0.0g, Cholesterol: 0.0mg, Iron: 0.0mg, Sodium: 1mg, Calcium: 1mg.


LisaDay said...

The salsa looks delicious.


Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

I am soooo going to make this salsa. Yum!

Christina said...

I had the same problem with my summer recipes spilling over into fall! Congrats on finishing your project! Can't wait to see the rest of the recipes.

That daquiri looks so good and it has been balmy enough in DC to enjoy it!

LBDDiaries said...

You said, "won’t allow myself to celebrate until I’ve posted all of my hard work on this here blog" - it may be bad news for you but it is GREAT news for me!! Means more awesomeness - I am so glad you're not disappearing - I just discovered you so am working my way thru YOUR blog! Going to make the salsa today - whoo hoo!!

Ingrid said...

I'm glad that it hasn't been anything serious keeping you away!

M @ Betty Crapper said...

As far as this Florida girl is concerned, keep these summery recipes coming. It is rarely, if ever, cool here.

E said...

Visiting from SITS. WOW all of those look delicious!! And just made me ready for lunch at 10:30 in the morning :)

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